Rivers State governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has said that the Rivers State has once again reasserted itself as one of premier strongholds of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the country following the victory of Sir Siminalayi Fubara as governor-elect of the State.
The governor noted that despite evil machination of the opposition, the PDP has consistently won all the governorship elections in the State since 2015.
Wike spoke on Monday night at Government House, Port Harcourt, shortly after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced Fubara as the winner of the 2023 Rivers State governorship election.
The PDP candidate polled 302,614 votes to defeat his closest rival, Mr. Tonye Cole, of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who had 95,274 votes. The Social Democratic Party candidate, Senator Magnus Abe, came a distant third with 46,981 votes.
Wike, who was visibly exhilarated by Fubara’s resounding victory, told PDP leaders at the Government House that the State will continue to remain pivotal to the successes of the PDP.
He said: “Whom God has blessed, no one can curse. There is nothing anyone can do about it. God at this time has said Siminalayi Fubara will be the next governor, and we give God the glory today that, that has happened.
“We won 23 local governments, 23 over 23. It has never happened. Out of the 32 State constituencies, we have won 31, it is remaining one that they said we will go for bye-election. We are ready and we will take that one.
“So, we have said to anybody who cares, Rivers State is PDP. When you annoy us, we do another thing. When we wanted to vote for the unity of the country, we showed it. We didn’t do anti-party, but we voted for unity of the country and that is what we did for one Nigeria.”
Wike, who dedicated the electoral victories of the PDP in the just-concluded general elections to Almighty God and the people of Rivers State, commended party stalwarts for remaining steadfast in defence of the State since he assumed office in 2015.
The governor said: “Let me thank all of you for the support you have given us, how you stood firm to make sure that we defend what is Rivers State. In 2015, we did it, in 2019, we did it and in 2023, we have done it again. So, it is not surprising, God has always been with us.”
He said he will remain eternally grateful to God because when he first contested for the office of governor in 2015, his predecessor, Chibuike Amaechi, was the incumbent, and was antagonistic to his political aspiration.
Wike, while mocking his predecessor for allegedly resorting to divisive and disgusting politicking during the electioneering period, said the resounding victory of the PDP has further diminished his political relevance in Rivers State.
The governor said: “When we came out in 2015, we were not in government. There was a governor (Amaechi) then in 2015. He was the Director General (DG) of (Muhammadu) Buhari campaign. In 2019, he was a super Minister and was also DG of Buhari campaign. He never gave him (Buhari) 25 percent. 2015, he never gave him 25 percent.”
“This is 2023, and they cannot get 25 percent vote in the State, we have also defeated him. You were a super governor, we defeated you. You were a super minister, we defeated you, now, you are a super nobody, we defeated you.”
He, however, cautioned PDP members not to be complacent because the opposition which he likened to “enemies” were still prowling around.
In his acceptance speech, the governor-elect, Sir. Siminalayi Fubara, who was accompanied by his deputy, Prof. Ngozi Odu, thanked God for his electoral victory and assured that his administration will consolidate on Governor Wike’s New Rivers Vision.
Fubara said: “We are going to work with everybody who believes in the New Rivers Vision to continue to build better lives, good services, protection of the dignity of every Rivers man and woman, protection of the integrity of this state in all phases and to make sure that we continue to defend our party in this state.
“Our vision is simple, it is anchored on the New Rivers Vision. We are to continue, to improve and to develop more on it. I want to thank the leadership of the party and the good people of Rivers State who believed in the New Rivers vision and ensured that the vision is the right vision. On the 18th of March, 2023 they supported us, they came out in their large numbers and voted for the unity and progress of this state.”
The governor-elected assured the people of Rivers State and the leadership of the PDP that his administration will not disappoint them.
Fubara added: “We give God all the glory and our foundation has always been God, and we believe He is going to give us the wisdom to carry this crown, its a big one. My principal will be leaving a very big shoe, I will need a lot of stockings so my leg can fit in properly.
“So, I need to start working on it. I need all of you to continue to support us, for us to achieve and maintain the standard that the governor has already laid and established for us.”